Unseemly haste, thy name is Obama

What's the hurry? "I need $800 billion and I need it now, today." Thus President Obama (summa dixit) shortly after taking office last winter. Maybe it's all part of what Governor Mitch Daniels has called the Obama administration's "shock and awe statism": startle the punters with outrageous demands. Then tell them you want them met immediately, toot sweet, eftsoons and right speedily. "Don't bother reading the bill, just give me the money." It really was a breathtaking performance. He almost got away with it.

Almost. Sure, he got the dough. But the rumble you've been hearing in the background are doubts congregating. Any real stimulus does--what? It stimulates. And what has the President's "stimulus" (really, a spending) package given us (apart from higher taxes coming to a paycheck near you, I mean)? Take your time . . .

Anyway, now that Obama is trying a repeat performance with the way we provide health care in this country, that rumble I mentioned is growing into a deafening roar. Yesterday, Obama had the temerity to insist that his plan to nationalize health care be passed RIGHT NOW, before Congress recessed in August. Then he compounded the temerity by insisting that "the deadline isn't being set by me. It's being set by the American people." Oh yeah? Or rather, sez who?

Last week, I was having lunch with a politically astute friend who observed that Obama's unseemly haste was a trademark. Maybe it's all part of the Rahm Emmanuel policy of not letting a good crisis go to waste. Whatever the origin of Obama's impatience, it ought to be resisted. As my friend pointed out, Obama's gambit actually conceals a cynical and unflattering view of the electorate. "Pass this humongous, multi-trillion dollar bill to nationalize and ration health care right now or it will never pass."

Right you are, Pres! But hold on. My friend was quite right that the reason for the haste unseemly was Obama's recognition that were his plan to impose socialized medicine subject to normal scrutiny, it would be subject to what the internists among you would describe as the political analogue of reverse peristalsis: i.e., the public would vomit it back into the laps of PelosiKennedy and soon to-be-former Senator Reid. I'm sure he was right about that.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

-- Universal health insurance is not the same thing as universal health care.

I hate to belabor the obvious, but it may be worth pointing out that what the Democrats' plan amounts to is a giant government-run boondoggle. It will increase the intrusiveness of government bureaucrats; it will increase the time you wait (unless you work for the government) for a medical procedure; for most people, it will certainly increase what you pay for health care. What it will erode is the relationship between doctor and patient and the overall quality of health care. A KimballQuickInvestmentTip: if the health care legislation is passed in anything like its current format, buy stock in funeral homes and gurney manufacturers. They'll have a boom.

-- Health care is not a right, it is a service.